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|Mitsubishi A6M Zero|
|Manufacturer||Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd|
|First Flight||1 April 1939|
|Introduction||1 July 1940|
|Retired|| Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service|
Chinese Nationalist Air Force
|Known Pilots|| Hiraga Saito|
The Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighter was a long-range fighter aircraft operated by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service (IJNAS) from 1940 to 1945. The official Allied reporting name was Zeke. A unit once belonged to Siesta's great-grandfather, it would be eventually be rediscovered by Saito Hiraga.
Specifications (A6M2 Type 0 Model 21)
- Crew: 1
- Length: 9.06 m (29 ft 9 in)
- Wingspan: 12.0 m (39 ft 4 in)
- Height: 3.05 m (10 ft 0 in)
- Wing area: 22.44 m² (241.5 ft²)
- Empty weight: 1,680 kg (3,704 lb)
- Loaded weight: 2,410 kg (5,313 lb)
- Powerplant: 1 × Nakajima Sakae 12 radial engine, 709 kW (950 hp)
- Aspect ratio: 6.4
- Never exceed speed: 660 km/h (356 kn, 410 mph)
- Maximum speed: 533 km/h (287 kn, 331 mph) at 4,550 m (14,930 ft)
- Range: 3,105 km (1,675 nmi, 1,929 mi)
- Service ceiling: 10,000 m (33,000 ft)
- Rate of climb: 15.7 m/s (3,100 ft/min)
- Wing loading: 107.4 kg/m² (22.0 lb/ft²)
- Power/mass: 294 W/kg (0.18 hp/lb)
- Divergence of trajectories between 7.7 mm and 20mm ammunition
- 2× 7.7 mm (0.303 in) Type 97 machine guns in the engine cowling, with 500 rounds per gun.
- 2× 20 mm Type 99 cannon in the wings, with 60 rounds per gun.
- 2× 60 kg (132 lb) bombs or
- 1× fixed 250 kg (551 lb) bomb for kamikaze attacks
The Mitsubushi A6M Zero was designated as the Mitsubishi Navy Type 0 Carrier Fighter, and also designated as the Mitsubishi A6M Rei-sen and Mitsubishi Navy 12-shi Carrier Fighter. The A6M was usually referred to by the Allies as the "Zero", from the 'Navy Type 0 Carrier Fighter' designation.
When it was introduced early in World War II, the Zero was considered the most capable carrier-based fighter in the world, combining excellent maneuverability and very long range. In early combat operations, the Zero gained a legendary reputation as a "dogfighter", achieving the outstanding kill ratio of 12 to 1, but by mid-1942 a combination of new tactics and the introduction of better equipment enabled the Allied pilots to engage the Zero on more equal terms. The IJNAS also frequently used the type as a land-based fighter.
By 1943, inherent design weaknesses and the increasing lack of more powerful aircraft engines meant that the Zero became less effective against newer enemy fighters that possessed greater firepower, armor, and speed, and approached the Zero's maneuverability. Although the Mitsubishi A6M was outdated by 1944, it was never totally supplanted by the newer Japanese aircraft types. During the final years of the War in the Pacific, the Zero was used in kamikaze operations. In the course of the war, more Zeros were built than any other Japanese aircraft.
A unit piloted by Sasaki Takeo was somehow teleported to Halkeginia before the start of the series and rediscovered by Saito Hiraga. Saito first deploys fighter against the Albion Navy, shooting down several Dragon Knights defending the airship Lexington, though he was unable to attack Wardes or the airship itself as he ran out of ammunition for the aircraft's guns.
In season two, Saito again sorties against Albion, equipped with ammunition and fuel made by Colbert. However, both the aircraft and an Albion dragon knight's mount are destroyed in a dogfight.